Welcome to Dave Wilson's sqmp3 User Manual
Start the Program
Put a Link on the Desktop
Organize Your Favorites
Pitch Shift (Time Shift)
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Play a Loop to the End
You have probably already downloaded the following files:
sqmp3install.exe Lyrics.zip YourN.exe (Your Name)
Double click on sqmp3install.exe. This manual will assume you have excepted the defaults. If you haven't, you're a power user and I don't have to worry about you.
This is the first screen you will see. Click Next.
And Next again to except defaults of the folder where you would like the program to reside.
And Next again.
After several progress bars fly by, this is the next screen you will see. Hit Finish.
Now double click the Lyrics.zip file. I'm seriously hoping you have WinZip. Otherwise download it at http://winzip.com then continue.
Extract the files to: c:\Program Files\sqmp3\Lyrics. This operation may take a few minutes.
Copy (or move) YourN.exe file to the c:\Program Files\sqmp3\ folder. If you would like, you can name thins file anything you want. I will name my file sqmp3.exe.
Your folder should look like the one above.
I would suggest you copy your mp3 files to C:\Program Files\sqmp3\mp3s\, but it is not necessary as you can see in the box below that tells you that my mp3 files are kept in a folder called G:\!_SQmp3.
Start the program
Double click on sqmp3.exe or YourN.exe (example DaveW.exe)
The follow is a map of the main page of sqmp3:
- The number of seconds the song has played and the length of the song in seconds. (example: 125 of 234)
- Loop Start.
- Loop End.
- Allows you to move the Start and End of the Loop both forward of backward fractions of a second. Also memorizes the track marks and speed of the current song.
- A visualizer. Purpose: to look cool.
- Song progress bar and move forward and back in the song. The *** button to the right will place the song 5 seconds from the End of Loop for the purpose of testing the loop.
- Beats Per Minute indicator. On the left, it will show you how many BPM at which the song was recorded. On the right, it shows how many BPM the song is currently playing. The center number allows you to change the speed 1 BPM per click.
- This is the timer. It will countdown to 0 from the preset number of minutes you set for the tip. Then it will turn red and count forward until the next song is played.
- This is a clock. The reason for this is to tell time.
- This is the current mp3 folder. When you right click this, you can set your favorite folders. When a song tries to play, if you are in the wrong folder, it will search your favorite folders to find the song.
- The current favorites file, Auto Play, Loop Enabled, and Auto Loop. The current favorites file is the favorite Patter and Singers you are currently displaying in 15 and 16.
- Currently Cued Patter. When you click a Favorite Patter, your selection will be cued here.
- Currently Cued Singer. When you click a Favorite Singer, your selection will be cued here.
- Currently selected song.
- Probably the box you will use the most. This is your Favorite Patter. To play your Favorite Patter, single click to cue it up then hit the spacebar to start playing, or double click the song to play. If Auto Play is selected (11) then a single click will play. Personally, I do not use Auto Play any longer.
- Favorite Singers. To play your Favorite Patter, single click to cue it up then hit Control-spacebar to start playing, or double click the song to play. It Auto Play is selected (11) then a single click will play.
Put a Link on the Desktop
Before you get too deep into the program, you might want to put an icon on you desktop to access the program.
Organizing Your Favorites
This page, Organize Favorites, allows you to save your favorite Patter and Singing calls. The 2 lists are linked together so that you might have a set of favorites for Tuesday night or Wednesday night or perhaps songs for Denmark and songs for Germany. The column to the far right is your mp3 files, based on the folder from the main page. You can drag and drop files on the patter or singers from the mp3 list or from each other, as you might want to use a singer for a patter. You can double click any file to play it and you can hit your Delete key to delete any song from either list. Single click will stop playback. Under File, there are options for New and Save. New will clear the lists. Guess what save will do.
In the event that you try to do something like clear the favorites list, it will warn you that you are about to wipe out what you see. If you answer yes... adios favorite list. I hope you saved it.
When you finish and try to leave this page, it will ask you if you want to use these favorites now. If you say yes, it will take you back to the Main page with those favorites. If you say no, it will bring you back to the Main page with you previously saved favorites intact. This is the page where you change favorites list too. You simply double click one of your previously saved favorites in the box to the far left, and those favorites will instantly be displayed.
The default for sqmp3 is 11 minutes. That is how long I like to run my patter records from A2 through C4 (without singer).
You can choose 1 minute to 15. If your patter is more than 15 minutes, consider a new hobby. As soon as the song starts to play, the timer will start. When it gets to zero, it will turn red and count up.
When you select Memorized Marks from the menu, you will see the marks that were previously saved by you in the bottom left part of the screen. In the event that you want to delete one of these marks, right click and answer yes. I have no idea why you would want to do this because if you simple save a new track mark (Mem. Loop & Speed), it will overwrite the old one automatically.
On the main menu is a selection called Speed. Although you may never use this from the menu, it does show you the hotkeys for speed control are F4 and F3. This speed control is the same as a Hilton turntable (you remember those) whereby when you speed up the record the pitch goes up and when you slow it down, the pitch goes down. (Don't fret: we have pitch control too.) Also note that each time you hit F3 or F4, the speed will increase 1 BPM...exactly. You are allowed 20 BPM up or down from the original recording. Use Pitch Shift from the menu if you need more than that.
Why? 'cause you can.
This brings up yet another page in the sqmp3 program: the Lyrics page. Sometimes, however, we might like to view a Callerlab List instead of Singing Call lyrics or even some choreography that was written in our favorite SD program.
On the top right part of the screen you can choose the Callerlab list, just incase halfway through the tip you remember you are supposed to be calling MS instead of Plus. Another feature on this page is the ability to lock the browser (middle right). With this selected, you can freely go back and forth between the main page and the lyrics page (F11 & F12) and lock the page you are viewing.
Why would you want to lock the page? Because every time you hit F12 on the main page, it will go to the Lyrics page to find the lyrics of the song that is the current song box (14) of the main page. When viewing the Lyrics page during the playback of an mp3 file, you will also see the same countdown timer from the main page. F3 & F4 keys (speed) are available here too, as is spacebar and control-spacebar (toggle-start/stop).
If you use html (sqmp3's default) for your lyrics, you will not need to set the File type (located in the middle of the Lyrics page). Otherwise, if you prefer to scan your lyrics in, you can change the file type to a picture format (gif/jpg/bmp). Word documents can be viewed here too, as long as Word is installed on your machine. Can't decide? Go with "all" to view all formats.
Top middle is the folder in which your Lyrics files reside. I suggest C:\Program Files\sqmp3\Lyrics\.
For those of you who must use a menu, click Browser.
Pitch Shift (Time Shift)
Wouldn't it be nice if everything were in you key? Well now it is! Call it what you want, time shift, pitch shift, time warp, whatever, sqmp3 does it.
When you select Pitch Shift from the menu (no hotkey, because you shouldn't be doing this at a dance... but I suppose you could), you will be presented with the dialog box above. You have the option of working on the current song from the main page or selecting a different song to alter.
As you can see, our current song is Almost Like Being in Love. In the bottom left box, you have 3 choices:
Pitchshift - changing the pitch and not the tempo Tempo - changing the tempo but not the pitch Speed - changing both the tempo and pitch (don't know why you would want to do this (F3 & F4 does the same thing)
Pitch shifting is measured in semitones. There are 12 semitones per octave. Therefore, if you want to change the key from A to B, you would use 2 semitones. If you wanted to change the key from B to A, you would use -2. By the way, I don't have a clue as to what key any of my records are in. Not to worry. If the song is too low for you, put it up a couple of notches and see what it sounds like.
Tempo is measured in %, as is Speed. To change a song that is recorded at 120 BPM to 128 BPM, without changing the pitch of the song, you would need to figure out the percentage change. Fortunately, sqmp3 has a page that helps you with this logarithmic calculation. (I know you thought it was an easy calculation... me too.)
Our calculator says we must change the tempo 6.25% to get 128 from 120 BPM.
Click on Tempo and set the edit box to 6.25. (For the people in Europe, use a period for you decimal separator.) Then click go with current song and watch it process the new mp3 file.
When it is finished (about 7 seconds on a 2.4 GHz machine) the above save dialog box will appear and sqmp3 will attempt to name the file for you. Notice in out case, it chose the original name and added tm 6.25 to the end of the filename. Choose save and it will ask you if you would like to add the song to your favorites. If you say Yes, it will ask if you want to add it to your favorite Patter. If you say No, it will add it to your Favorite Singers list. (I don't know about you, but I happen to think this is the coolest feature of the whole program!)
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
The first section of the BPM menu allows you to invoke a BPM override. This changes the speed of the all of the played songs to give you whatever BPM you select. If at the start of a dance you feel that the dancers are really moving well and can handle 128 BPM, you can override all of the songs to 128 regardless of the speed at which they were recorded. If later in the evening you feel the dancers are getting tired and you want to slow it up a little, perhaps you will decide to set the BPM override to 125.
The second feature of the BPM menu is the Database Builder.
With the database builder you can create a BPM database of all of your records in a specific folder. The building of this database takes some time. So it is definitely not something to be done at a dance. You might want to do it before you go to bed one night.
It is not necessary to build a database. However, you will want to do it. Each time a song is played, the program will search a database file to see if you have played that song before. If you have, it will know how many BPM the record was recorded at and use that setting. If you have never played that song before it will calculate the BPM and add the BPM number to the database. That operation for one song takes about 5 seconds (2.4 GHz) and it is aggravating to wait for. Solution: run the database builder.
In the event that you simple don't believe the BPM calculation at a dance and would like to check it again, select Check from the menu to check it again. The answer will be displayed in the BPM groupbox.
If you would like to erase a BPM entry from the database, select Show/Hide Database from the BPM menu. Just select the item to delete and hit your delete key.
Once deleted, you can play the song again and it will re-calculate the BPM and add it to the list.
Each user will have a sqmp3 program made specifically for them with a digital picture of them, their name, and the version number in the About box. This serves 2 purposes.
- I am very good with faces. If I see your face, I'll probably remember it. I won't remember whether you were the person who stole my wallet in the park last year or whether you were the nice person who saved my dog from being hit by that truck.... but I will remember the face.
- People who have a picture and their name embedded into a program that they have purchased are much less likely to give it to a friend. So I hope you sent me a really bad picture.
This feature is here to add a little compatibility to WinAmp. It will allow you to drag and drop your mp3s, favorite singers, or favorite patter to a playlist. There are no parameters to set here. All you do is select the song you want to start playing and it will continue to play the songs on the playlist one time through with no ability to set the time between songs. It will convert you WinAmp playlists. Very basic. The only time I ever use this feature is if I give a concert on Saturday night after the dance. I don't have to fiddle around with the computer between songs... just sing.
Now that you have a good idea of the features of the program, lets talk about actually using sqmp3.
spacebar - If the song is not playing it puts the Current Cued Patter in the Current Song box, starts the playing of the song, and resets and starts the countdown timer. If the song is playing it stops the song but the timer continues. control-spacebar - If the song is not playing it puts the Current Cued Singer in the Current Song box, starts the playing of the song, and resets and starts the countdown timer. If the song is playing it stops the song but the timer continues. F1 - Plays the Current Song (regardless of whether it is a patter or singer) and resets and starts the timer. If the Current Song is playing it stops it and the timer continues. F2 - Plays the Current Song (regardless of whether it is a patter or singer) from the position where it was stopped and does not reset or start the timer. If the Current Song is playing it stops it and the timer continues. F3 - Decreases the speed of the song by 1 beat per minute each time F3 is pressed. F4 - Increases the speed of the song by 1 beat per minute each time F4 is pressed. F12 - Goes to the Lyrics page F11 - Returns to the Main page Right Click on mp3 Folder box - This will allow you to add the current folder to you favorite folders. If you select a song from your favorites and that song is not in the current directory, sqmp3 will search for the song in you favorite folders. You can have an unlimited number of favorite folders.
Most buttons - most buttons on sqmp3 will give you some hint of their function when you hover your mouse over them.
All people who have used an MD player for calling are familiar with track marks. These allow you to set a section of the song to loop over and over again until you are finished with you patter. We try our best to make the loop as smooth as possible so that the dancers don't have to skip as they did in the old days when we set the needle back on the Hilton.
Start a patter record. When it gets to a place where you want to begin the loop click the Start Button.
Play the song to where you think you might End the loop and click the End Button.
I would highly suggest that you click Start and End on the 1st beat of a measure. So count 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, click (right on 1... not a little before or a little after RIGHT ON 1.. is that clear?).
As it is with nervous fingers, slow computers, a bad day, sometimes you just don't get it right on the beat. And sometimes, you'll be glad to know, it is not you fault. Sometimes the phrasing of the music just doesn't lend itself to a good loop. The buttons with >> and > or << and < will help you to fine tune the loop. << and >> mean move the loop start .1 seconds backward or forward in time and < and > mean move the loop .05 seconds backward or forward in time. Sometimes after playing with the end loop for a few minutes you conclude that at this very moment in the song it is impossible to make it sound really continuous. In that case use Start and End box to move both the Start and End Loop the same amount forward or backward in time. Sometimes this will help.
So you don't want to wait to the end of the loop to test how good you loop is because it takes so much time? Try this:
The button to the far right *** will jump the song to 5 seconds before the end of loop. That ought to make you happy.
Once you have the loop where you want it click Mem. Loop & Speed.
This will not only memorize the loop but also the speed that you are playing the song. The next time you play the song, the loop and speed will automatically be set. If you play the song from your Favorite Patter list, sqmp3 will check to see if you have a memorized loop and memorized speed for the song. If you do, it will set it for you. However, if you select the song from your Favorite Singers, then it will not set the track mark. This way, you can use a song for both a singer and patter and not worry about sqmp3 looping on the closer of you singing call.
Play a Looped Song to the End
In the event that you would like to have your patter record stop the loop and continue to the end of the song hit Control-E. Where the visualization once was, is now "Playing to end".
When the song gets to what it thinks is right before the last sequence "Play to end" now reads "Last Sequence".
Occasionally I use this feature to make a Singing Call out of the Patter on the last sequence of the patter for C1 or C2 dancers. Most callers use this to end their patter with the end of the record just to be cool. Good for them.
In the event that you have just turned a bunch of records into mp3s or you just acquired a bunch of new mp3s and have yet to track mark them, but you are dying to try them out at a dance, sqmp3 will help you out. If you put these songs in your Favorite Patter (perhaps making a new favorites just for these songs) and play them from that box, sqmp3 will check to see if you have a track mark recorded for this song. When it doesn't find a track mark for the song, and you have selected the song from you Patter Favorite, it will place a track mark on the song temporarily at 10 seconds from the Start and 10 seconds from the End of the song. Effectively, you have an automatic version of an old Hilton reset. More than likely, the dancers will have to skip to find the beat as they did in the old days.
I use this alot! Way more than I should. The Danes hate it. The good news is: they notice.
When you check Auto Play, any song you click once will immediately begin to play.
Even though the Loop Enabled and Auto Loop are checkboxes, checking them cannot change them. These boxes are only and indication as to whether that feature is being used at the moment.
This project was started late in 2001. I started writing in Delphi 3 and I am currently using Delphi 7 (Object Oriented Pascal). If there are any questions or comments about the program you can contact me at:
Thanks for using the program.